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How To Reset 2011 Ford Explorer MyTouch System

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Let me tell you a little story….

Remember how a couple weeks ago I was near-death-status with kidney stones? Well what I didn’t mention in that last post was that the SAME WEEK where I was single-mommin’ it while simultaneously puking my guts out and writhing around in horrific kidney stone-induced pain, my car’s entire Sync system went out. It was like a cruel joke from the universe.

What does that mean? No clock, no radio, no backup camera, no control over HEAT AND A/C!!! The day it went out I had to be on campus to submit grades for a class. I was in POOR shape, guys. Like, I couldn’t get dressed in real clothes (anything that put pressure on my kidneys KILLED ME so I had to wear stretchy yoga pants – basically workout clothes to my job. UGH). So I just snuck in to submit my grades and snuck right back out. Get into my car and – BAM – for no reason the entire Sync system just went out. This has happened once before, when it was still under warranty. I remember the total bill being about $1500 and being SO GRATEFUL it was covered by our extended warranty. Well…..warranty is now long gone, folks.

I swear, had I not needed to get home IMMEDIATELY (because of the pukes and all), I would have driven straight to a car dealership and traded in the car. In Arizona, you cannot LIVE without having control over your heat and A/C. It’s just not happening. Plus the side-view mirror is still taped on (yes. still. life has been a bit hectic over here as my marriage has disintegrated, I moved out, life happenings, etc. Give me a break). So basically it felt like my car (and entire life, really) was falling apart. I wanted the path of least resistance. TIME FOR MOMMA TO GET A NEW CAR.

Well, I’m glad my near-death-status forced me to go straight home instead of to the car dealership. I spent about another week weighing my options. But in looking at information (my car’s trade-in value, the blue book value if I were to buy a similar car, etc. etc.) I realized I could NOT buy a new car. I can’t afford a payment, and if I were to trade in my car for another car (without a payment), I’d be taking a step DOWN in vehicle no matter where I looked. My car may be high mileage, but it’s a newer (7 year old), still very high quality car. It was top-of-the-line for Ford Explorers the year it was made. Originally a $30,000 vehicle! I was not going to be able to find something comparable without a payment.

Solving My Own Problem…

So then I set to the interwebs in trying to solve my problem. I stumbled across THIS youtube video titled: How to Reset/Fix Ford MyTouch System.” I watched it a couple times. Seemed easy enough. Basically, you unplug the fuse and plug it back in again. I could do that.

But no. No, I could not. The vehicle shown in the video is an Edge (mine is an Explorer). The fuse box looks very different. I couldn’t identify the right part. I started just trying to pull out random fuse boxes (there look to be several in my car) and couldn’t get anything to snap out as easily as shown in the video. Not wanting to break anything and not even being sure what I was doing, I didn’t apply too much pressure. I was hoping something would just pop out easily. But nothing happened.

Hail Mary

A week went by. More and more I was coming to terms with the fact that I was going to have to pay (likely $1500+) to have my electrical system all reset. A one time $1500-2000 charge is still cheaper than a recurring $500/month car payment for the next 5 years. This was happening. I’m keeping my car and paying someone to fix it.

In a Hail Mary attempt, I went back to Google. I tried a more thorough search for how to reset my MyTouch system at home. Nothing helpful came back (a lot of resetting to factory settings, but mine wouldn’t even turn on so I needed something more). I went back to that same YouTube video. This time, I read the comments under the video. And right there, written in black and white, someone spelled out my problem for me:

Clifford Shack (post from one week ago, so the comment wasn’t even present the first time I saw then video):

Touchscreen blacked out on my 2018 Explorer. Fix: Press seek up button and Volume button simultaneously and it will come back with nothing lost (Hold for 2-3 seconds for reset).

Well, thank you to Mr. Shack. I tried it out and Glory Hallelujah it worked!!! My radio is back in action! Mine was reset to factory settings (so it wasn’t true for me that “nothing was lost” because all my presets are gone, the blue tooth settings were wiped out, etc.) BUT I DON’T CARE BECAUSE AT LEAST IT’S BACK!!! FOR FREE!!!!

Given that hubs always did our car maintenance, this is a pretty proud moment for me as a newly Single Woman. Excuse me while I go pat myself on the back and count all the money I saved by NOT having to go to the dealership to have this problem fixed.

And because I’d budgeted $500 for car repairs this month (thinking that wouldn’t be enough to cover the electrical, but I wanted to put some aside)….I ended up going onto Ebay and found the side-view mirror I need for just a couple hundred dollars! I have a friend from work who offered to install it for me if I got the part so I pulled the trigger and the side-view mirror should be at my home by next Friday (whyyyyyyyy is Ebay soooooo slow?? I’m an Amazon Prime girl over here. Waiting over a week for an order feels like eternity!) At any rate, the MyTouch is fixed and with any luck the side-view mirror will be fixed within another couple of weeks. I need to go wash and clean it really well and hopefully the beauty will be back to new(-ish…. with 150,000 miles. But you know what I mean) 😉

Boom! Any other stories of saving serious money by DIY and/or female empowerment/DIY that you’d like to share? 

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8 Comments

  • Reply Reece |

    That is great news! What a huge win!
    I hope you’ll be able to save a good sized emergency fund soon so if something huge were to happen you absolutely couldn’t fix yourself, it wouldn’t have to be a freak out moment.

  • Reply 3boysmom |

    Great job! I once fixed my icemaker with a popsicle stick and duct tape. It worked another 6 months. I also fixed my Honda Pilot’s A/C by watching a YouTube video and buying a $6 relay switch!

  • Reply dh |

    Great job Ashley!!! Kudos to you!

    I’m an adjunct university professor, and I’m stunned that you have to go to school to submit your grades! I can (and generally do) enter them online, from the comfort of my sweats, sitting on my couch.

    • Reply Ashley |

      Now that we have 2-factor authentication I can do it from home (though that’s new to us in the last year), but I had to go to campus because I had specific “group” grades that I’d worked out in an Excel file on my office computer – not saved to a cloud or flash drive, etc.
      I always struggle with grading group assignments because they’re SUCH a pain….and yet I think it’s a worthwhile thing for students to learn to work and collaborate together so I continue with them. 🙂

  • Reply Drmaddog |

    You can find YouTube videos for anything! It’s so amazing. I replaced my iPhone battery and screen for way less than a repair or new one would have cost. MY brother replaced his headlight on his for a fraction of the mechanic quote., I though it was just a marvel that so much information is so readily available in this day and age.

  • Reply Katie |

    Yay!! My parents are elderly, and are quick to hire someone when things go wrong. By asking them to hang on for a minute, we’ve reset a faulty electrical panel on their dishwasher twice, thanks to the Google. Also helped my Aunt & Uncle diagnose a weird problem with their car, where they couldn’t add gas to the tank because the car kept triggering the gas pump to think the tank was full. They’d paid out over $1,000 to various mechanics, without resolving the issue by the time we sat down in front of the computer.

    If anyone needs help finding this information, go ask a librarian. They are great resources for what search terms to plug in.

So, what do you think ?